Insights & Analysis

June 6, 2022

Weekly EconMinute—Life satisfaction in Canada

In this week’s EconMinute, we’re talking about life satisfaction.

Have an indicator you want us to look into? Email us at media@businesscouncilab.com.

In 2021, Statistics Canada launched the Quality of Life Hub, designed to bring together information on Canadians’ quality of life and well-being. The Hub’s Quality of Life Framework is organized into five domains that reflect what matters most for quality of life in Canada—Prosperity, Health, Society, Environment, and Good Governance. To provide an overall measure of quality of life across these five domains are the life satisfaction and sense of meaning and purpose indicators.

Today, we examine how Canadians experience their own well-being using the life satisfaction indicator. This indicator is a measure of subjective well-being where respondents indicate their level of satisfaction with their life as a whole on a scale of 0, meaning “very dissatisfied,” to 10, meaning “very satisfied.”

Here’s what the data show:

  • Most Canadians are highly satisfied with their quality of life—52% rate their life satisfaction as 8 or above.
  • The share of individuals rating their life satisfaction as 8 or above is lowest in Alberta (46%) and highest in Quebec (60%).
  • The share of individuals rating their life satisfaction as 5 or below is highest in Alberta and British Columbia (24%) and lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador (17%).
  • In Canada, men are more likely to rate their life satisfaction as 8 or above (53%) than women (51%). This difference is amplified in Alberta, where 50% of men and only 43% of women give a rating of 8 or above.
  • Life satisfaction ratings are similar among immigrants and Canadian-born.
  • LQBTQ2+ persons and persons with disabilities are less likely to rate their life satisfaction as 8 or above (30% and 39%, respectively) than their counterparts (54% and 62%, respectively).

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